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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New Year, New School, Same Me

I am starting my sixteenth year in education!!! I am very excited to be starting in a new school district. This year I will be teaching Geometry, Pre-AP Geometry, and Algebra II.

It took a lot of work to move out of my old classroom (that I had occupied for fifteen years) and into my new room. I went up to my new school several times throughout the summer to unpack, get organized and set-up for the new year.

I have had a lot of compliments on my room. So I thought I would share. I am also going to add links to anything I have purchased or created (if you are interested).

Our district theme this year is 20/20 Vision. We want our students to be clearly focused. We want them to elevate their knowledge, engage in instruction and be empowered!

This is the view as students walk in the door.

The student point of view. The projector is on the right side of the board. In the middle I have a poster of our bell schedule, today's date, a digital clock above, my pencil sign out system, and clips for any papers that are turned in without a name.

On the right side of the room I have the weekly schedule created with magnetic strips. Below I will put anchor charts or word wall posters for each subject. On the right side I have my phone pockets and charging station. If their phones are plugged in and in the pocket, they are not on them while I'm teaching! Win - Win!

The back of the classroom has my bookshelf for textbooks and trays for return papers. The posters on the back wall have inspirational messages and math puns!

I already had everything Geometry in green and Algebra 2 in blue. Then my textbooks were dropped off. It worked out perfectly! If they would have been different colors I probably would have lost my mind. I guess I'm psychic... or maybe just lucky!

My desk is in the far corner. You can see a drawer organizer and a couple of utility carts.

Math nerd alert. Most of the decor on the right side of the room is about PI. Not pie, but PI (3.141592...). I have some student made artwork, fun pictures, craft projects, and even a CR 314 street sign ( I can't tell you how excited I was to find that. Not only the 314, but my initials "CR"). My view outside the window isn't the greatest, but I can see the sky when I want to.

My podium and chair are on the right side, but I can move around when I need to.

In this bookcase I have fun books about math, MC Escher, books for dummies, and some old math textbooks from the early 1900's. I have a file box on top that students can pick up their work from when they are absent. The green drawer organizer houses any supplies the students might need.

Here are a few detail pictures for fun!

Thanks for visiting my new room! I hope you have a great start to your school year!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Meet the Teacher Handout or Syllabus

Here is an updated version of my syllabus. I created this brochure last year to hand out at Meet the Teacher Night. It has all of the information I go over on the first day of school in a handy handout! I included a notes section so that parents could jot down any questions/concerns/thoughts they might have while they are visiting my class. To purchase and edit for your use, visit our TPT store.

Friday, June 28, 2019

What is on your desk?

A large part of making my day easier for myself, is not having to search for things.  Over the past 1,000 years (or 14) I have come up with a few things that make every day easier for me!  #1 I am a very visual person, if I can't see it, it does't exist, so my desk is a mess. but there are a few highlights.  

I have a small crate of files of things I need all the time.  This includes "the plan" aka my pre-planned calendar for the year, grade sheets, Things to turn into the office, folders for tests to be turned into, keys for tests (because you always have someone absent on test days), and folders for my examples I do with the kids.

Next, near my computer.  I have I blue "stand-up thing" where urgent things land, I have post-its, I have pics and small gift figures.

I also have a scanner that doesn't work, multiple cups, I'm only using two of those, and I have coasters, and more post-its, then the pens, markers, pencils, and markers that only I get to use.

I spent a lot of time looking for this stinking little white remote before I bought this tray!  This tray holds the remote, tape and the stapler the kids can use (but I don't leave it where they can reach it because they tend to try to shoot staples at one another).  The easy button was a gift, and the windex bottle is supposed to be where the magnetic clothes pins are ... but I took this picture in May.

Last but not least, I have my bathroom pass tracker ... and a place for my special pens, and the blue is where the bathroom pass is supposed to go ... 

So obviously I didn't stage the pictures to be perfect, but I hope you got a couple of ideas to help your day easier.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What's in your drawers? Organization for High School Teachers

This year I had to go through the drawers of another teacher's desk (at their request on a day they were sick) to try to find something ... and until then I didn't know other teachers desks were so much different than mine.   Don't get me wrong, my desk is a mess!  At least the top of my desk is a mess, but the drawers are usually tidy.  So I am offering a tour of my desk. 

Let's start with that middle drawer.

Again, notice the mess of papers on the desk.  But I have these really cheap shallow drawer dividers, all are identical, the right one is turned upside down in relation to the others.  It's the end of the year, so a few are empty, but let's start from the left and talk about what should be in each one.  The far left should be pens, then post it tags and pencil lead, then tacks and push pins, then markers then there should be pencil top erasers, rubber bands, and different sized paper clips in the empty containers, then my favorite block erasers, then erasers for mechanical pencils, then pencils.  You can see i have a few random tags, and erasers in the top super shallow wells, an one eraser I made into a stamp.  but everything has it's place.

Now for the junk drawer :)

This where I keep back up caffeine, manicure kit, chargers, staplers, staples, stamp pads, a random forearm (confiscated), random keys, toothpaste, a tooth brush, an exacto knife and a paper cutter (meant for gift wrap).  As well as, post-its with keys or passwords, or whatever else I can't remember.  Did you spot my Mr. Roger's Encourage-mints? My super sweet co-worker go those for me this year.

Next is the large drawer to the left of the middle. 

Now the front of this drawer looks like a mess. I have a microwave popcorn maker, popcorn kernels, an emergency kit (blue bag), hair brush, fishing line, and I think there is a toy of some sort that I confiscated and dome hot chocolate there as well.  Behind that I have grade sheet, labels, hall passes, and colored paper and card stock filed by color.

The small drawer to the right of the middle.

I have mints, copy me forms, mini staplers, random plastic bag, tennis ball (again confiscated) labels, note cards, calculators, tools/lab ware, plastic ware, and scissors.

Now for the big drawer to the right of the middle.

The the front I typically keep my composition books, and I have a special composition book (pictured) where i write funny things that happen in class, and notes that students give me, then I have a sprial, more labels, a few folders, then hanging file folders for paperwork I need access to every year, notes from the office, and even a file for artwork students made for me including several cartoons of myself.  They are so funny! 

I know many teachers out there have organizational schemes and desk drawers that will out mine to shame, but I think this is a good jumping off point, if you are just randomly throwing things in your drawers.  :) 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Biology Stations

I have been trying to figure out stations for high school kids for a long time and not much ever made sense to me for my room.  But I finally came up with a station type activity for my freshmen when we were reviewing the cell cycle.  I think with a few edits it may be how I teach cell cycle next year.  We had 5 stations, but some stations could be repeated for larger groups.  Students drew colored blocks from a black bag to form random groups (sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse).

Here is how I envision my stations next year (after lesson/review).

1. Foldable with room for drawing and text.  Get the drawings done here from photos I have labeled.

2. Foldable with room for drawing and text.  Get the descriptions done here from textbooks.

3. Make Cell Cycle Plate following the template provided.

4. Complete matching descriptions to phases.

5. Coloring sheet with stages of mitosis to merge with plate ... or animal cells to merge with the plant cell drawings on the foldable.

Definitely still a WIP (work in progress - shout out to my kid), but I feel like I have a much better idea of how to run stations for high school kids.

I don't think I will run every class period like this but it would be cool to do this 1-2 times per month or six weeks just to switch things up!

Do you do stations?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

WTHS is on video!! Quality of Work & Cheating.

Oh man!! Talk about taking a leap!! We have jumped from behind to screen to be on your screen ... In our very first video, you get to see our thoughts on student quality of work and cheating.  You get to enjoy our silliness as well.  We hope you watch and enjoy.

Where do your students struggle most?  What do you do to help meet those needs?  We feel that together we are stronger - all of us - yes, including you!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

School Culture and Climate

If you would take a minute or two to click the link and fill our little survey we would love to hear from you.  School Culture and Climate Survey (WTHS)

Also a big thank you to all of you!! We just passed 400K total views!  I can't wait to share all we have coming up with you!